Business IDEAS for Photographers
You saw this article's headline somewhere and clicked on it because you want to improve your portrait photography business, right? Well, this article will do NOTHING for you if you only read it. Make today a DO day. Take at least one of these ideas and ACT ON IT if you really want to make your photography business a success.
On a daily basis, I hear from photographers across the world who are scrapping and fighting to get a profitable portrait photography business off the ground. It can be tough, but it is also worth it. Unfortunately, I think many of these photographers put the cart before the horse, and it hurts their portrait photography business. What I mean is that many photographers fight hard to get a client, but don't have a system in place to earn as much from each client as possible. Also, they haven't considered creative offerings that would help them convince clients to book a session.
I hope these ideas will help to make your photography business more successful so you can better provide for your families.
Idea #1: Mini photo sessions
I believe that this trend is changing by the number of photographers who are advertising in the market right now, but most families do not pay for a photographer for every newborn, every Christmas, every soccer team, every year in school, every wedding, etc. Most families will hire a photographer for a few of those events, but it is uncommon for someone to pay a photographer multiple times per year for all of these events. They usually just pick a few. Usually, the reason for this inconsistency with clients is because they don't want to spend the money.
You can sell to these clients by offering mini-sessions. Perhaps the client wouldn't normally spend 0 and spend an afternoon getting the perfect Christmas card picture, but they may be willing to pay $100 for a short 30 minute session to get a great photo of their new baby. I understand that you need to charge a lot to make your business work, but offering a smaller mini-session can help you get cash flow instead of hoping for more clients. Remember, you don't make any money when you're on the computer doing advertising. Your money comes from shooting photos and selling photos.
Money you can make by implementing this idea: Depends on a lot of things, but you could easily book 2 or 3 mini-sessions a week that you would not otherwise get. That could easily earn you $300 every single week as a photographer.
Idea #2: Stock photography
You have thousands of dollars of photography gear, you have the ability to make great photos, and yet you often find yourself just sitting around waiting for clients. Don't waste your resources! Grab a model and stick them in the studio! Spend a free 30 minutes today shooting some photos that would be suitable for inclusion on the iStockphoto collection or on other sites like Fotolia.
Stock photography may not earn you thousands of dollars a year unless you dedicate serious time and resources to it, but it is certainly more profitable than sitting on your duff, hoping to get a client to walk in the door. Get up and go shoot someone–anyone!
Money you can make by implementing this idea: Many stock photographers report earnings of $1 per image per month that it is on sale at istockphoto and other microstock companies. That isn't much money if you only have a few images for sale, but it can be a decent return if you take great photos and have many of them for sale.
Idea #3: Heirloom photo at the reception
This is my super-secret tip that I haven't told anyone before, but it works like MAGIC! How would you like to earn $350 more from every single wedding, without asking your client for a dime? It's simple!
When you shoot the client's engagement photos before the wedding, ask the client which photo they would like to have printed HUGE to put in their home. Not a little framed print in the hall, but a centerpiece wall-hanger print. The kind of thing that hangs above the mantle. When the client picks the print and you sell them on the idea of having an heirloom masterpiece print in their home, tell them the price. More than likely, it will blow them away when they realize that a giant 30×40″ canvas gallery wrap like this will cost about 0. So, they want the print, and you want their money. How do you get the money without asking them to pay a dime?
Offer to print the gallery wrap at your own cost. Then, make the proposition. You'll print the photo at your own expense and bring it to the wedding reception. Hang it on a nice easel at the entrance with a sign and a box. On the sign, ask for wedding guests to make small donations for the couple so they can get the beautiful photo for their home.
I like to do this with the agreement that all the money in the box goes to the photographer up to the price of the photo (which can be a lot), and the wedding couple keeps anything above that amount. 9 times out of 10, there is way more money donated than the photo actually costs. This method could easily earn you $350 more per wedding, and you don't have to ask your clients for ANY money! Now THAT is a good idea!
Money you can make by implementing this idea: $350 more per wedding for every single wedding you shoot. Oh, and this idea isn't just for wedding photographers. You could do the same thing by taking someone's pregnancy photos and then having a great “big belly” photo available at the baby shower. The possibilities are endless with this one.
Idea #4: Hit up your contacts
I'm going to say something a little strong. I don't mean to be rude, but I want this to sink in so I'm going to say what I'm really thinking. “Photographers who do not keep an email list of clients and prospective clients are fools.”
No, you don't have to Spam your clients every week and drive them crazy. However, it can make you a lot of money if you carefully send emails that will be useful to your clients. Here's an example of how to use your email list….